It was seen that the works of founders of States, law-givers, tyrant-destroyers, and heroes cover
but narrow spaces and endure but for a time; while the work of the inventor, though of less pomp,
is felt everywhere and lasts forever.          - Francis Bacon Preface to a Treatise on Interpreting Nature




The Design of Everyday Things

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How to Design Breakthrough Inventions

A CBS interview of IDEO founder David Kelley


How to Build a StartUp

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June 2011


The medium is the message.  – Herbert Marshall McLuhan

People new to innovation ask Mr. Ronald Jackson (founder of Jackson Systems) for advice.  So he wrote a short book for them, Should I Patent My Great Idea?, based on his experience in developing 10 patented inventions and in bringing 40 products to market.  Mr. Jackson, with his characteristic enthusiasm for innovation, introduced us to his new book.  We learned that his advice resides as much in how he developed and marketed his book as in the content of the book itself.

Mr. Jackson’s approach to innovation is practical and hands‑on, whether the invention is a HVAC zone control system or a book.  His book presents an overview of innovation and its risks, provides advice and options (including sample documents) for minimizing those risks, and leaves the reader to decide whether s/he has enough time, money, and enthusiasm to innovate.

“Work on ideas with which you are somewhat familiar.”  “Do as much of the work as you can yourself.”
Publishing was new to Mr. Jackson.  So, he decided to learn about the industry by starting his own publishing company (Indy Short Books) to publish his book.

“You have only a few seconds to get the attention of the person looking at the brochure.”
The book’s front and back covers portray the reader (i.e., inventor) as a thinking duck, which is itself a great invention.  A duck knows no limits, able to go anywhere because of its ability to walk, fly, and swim. 

“Present yourself as a professional.”
Trademarking the duck; adding a barcode, ISBN (International Standard Book Number), and professional endorsement to the book cover; and setting up a PayPal account to receive payments give the book a professional appearance.

“Cultivate a network of people who can help you.”
In preparing his book, Mr. Jackson consulted with attorneys, business people, editors, marketers, and publishers.

“The invention process is about 20% invention and 80% marketing.”
Mr. Jackson is starting to promote his book by giving away hundreds of copies.  He then plans to advertize his book in trade journals and to use PR Web to distribute press releases about his book in company newsletters.  He expects to use his book as a marketing tool to attract attention to his company Jackson Systems and increase its sales of HVAC zone controls.

Thank you, Mr. Jackson, for sharing your enthusiasm and expertise with us.

Patent Drawings by Richard McVicker

Some inventions patented by our members:

Bob Brand
3,179,907 Tuning system for television receivers
3,219,933 Television tuner switching system
3,241,072 Tuning control system
3,538,466 Television tuner cast housing with integrally cast transmission lines
4,503,740 Optical cutting edge locator for a cutting apparatus
4,503,896 Dog system for veneer slicer
4,601,317 Veneer slicing system
5,511,598 Veneer-slicer with remotely controllable blade angle adjustment
5,562,137 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,590,700 Vacuum flitch table with self-cleaning vacuum valve
5,678,619 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer from a tapered flitch
5,680,887 Veneer slicer with timing belt
5,694,995 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,701,938 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,819,828 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,868,187 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,395,843 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,552,750 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer sheets from a flitch

Rick Hanson
6,240,579 Unitary pedal control of brake and fifth wheel deployment via side and end articulation with additional unitary pedal control of height of patient support
6,253,397 Deployable siderails for a wheeled carriage
6,256,812 Wheeled carriage having auxiliary wheel spaced from center of gravity of wheeled base and cam apparatus controlling deployment of auxiliary wheel and deployable side rails for the wheeled carriage
6,264,006 Brake for castered wheels
6,507,964 Surgical table
D474,446 Sterilizable battery component

Bob Humbert
4,281,368 Keyhole illuminating apparatus

Ron Jackson
4,886,110 HVAC zone control system
4,943,039 Adjustable clamp
4,987,409 Level sensor and alarm
5,132,669 Level sensor with alarm
5,381,989 Adjustable spring clamp
5,944,098 Zone control for HVAC system
6,145,752 Temperature monitoring and control system
6,322,443 Duct supported booster fan
D347,596 Audible security alarm
D376,747 Door security device

Jerry McQuinn
D689,343 Universal Nutcracker

Richard McVicker
3,261,937 Three position snap switch utilizing interference blade means
3,319,477 Timer Escapement
3,332,704 Manually propelled treadmill vehicle
4,625,616 Thumb pick
6,309,076 Light barrier, screen or reflector
D240,237 Sculpture or the like
D356,653 Yard light
8389839 Thumb pick

Bill Pangburn
5,943,831 Device for Hauling Objects

Al Robbins

3,882,960 Ride quality control for surface effects craft
3,946,689 Air dynamo pressure regulation and modulation device for surface effect ships and air cushion vehicles
6,588,702 Lighter-than-air device having a flexible usable surface

Matt Thie
4,844,446 Multiple-compartment currency stacker-sorter
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
7,298,280 Lighted fluid flow indication apparatus
7,617,826 Conserver

Richard Tucker
5,833,751 Powder coating booth having smooth internal surfaces
6,840,367 Material handling and manufacturing system and method
6,976,835 Manufacturing system and process
7,018,579 Manufacturing system and process

Don Walls
D707090 Torque key lever
RE36209 Door lock apparatus

Dave Zedonis
5,637,926 Battery powered electronic assembly for wheel attachment

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